Legal Innovation and the Control of Gang Behavior
Posted: 6 Dec 2007
This review considers one of the most prominent methods of combating gang activity in the second half of the last century, namely the deployment of legal strategies to prevent gang formation and intervene in existing gang structures. These include highly formalized strategies, such as the enactment of legislative decrees such as injunctions that limit the association of gang members in public space, as well as informal procedures in which communities create an indigenous and localized set of norms and juridical procedures to fight gang activity. Research on legal tactics and gang control in the past few decades has shown that the formative understanding of the city as a social ecology of distinct and separate communities, in which social institutions and residents are largely attuned to activity occurring within their boundaries, remains at the heart of social policy formulation with respect to youth delinquency. The review addresses these major legal innovations and the debates surrounding them.
Keywords: law, crime, street gang, youth, disorder, order maintenance, gang behavior
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